Technical building products present one of the largest emission sources in buildings, after energy use and main construction materials. Combient Pure together with ASSA ABLOY, KONE, Swegon and Vasakronan are breaking new ground as they set out for a year-long program to further develop this product category’s circularity.
An intensive 12-month program to drive circular economy
Combient Pure, ASSA ABLOY, KONE, Swegon and Vasakronan will be working closely together for 12 months to develop the circularity of technical building products, such as ventilation products, elevators, and automatic doors. The program will accelerate developments in circularity among the participating companies with practical tools and methods, peer-to-peer learning and discussions with customers and other actors within the value chain.
The initiative for the program came from Vasakronan, one of the most ambitious real estate developers in the world when it comes to sustainability.
-We want to become carbon neutral along our whole value chain, as well as purchase only reused, recycled or renewable products and materials by 2030. To reach these goals, we work together with our suppliers to provide new types of circular products and services, says Anna Denell, Sustainability Director at Vasakronan.
The Circularity Development Program will be led by a team from Combient Pure, which supports the decarbonization and circularity development for Combient network companies and companies in their value chains. The participants will cover six main themes in circularity: understanding the customer, impact measurement, dismantling and reverse logistics, product life extension, circular procurement and aligning internal processes.
- We are doing pioneering work together with our network companies to encourage the building sector to move towards a more sustainable direction. By pragmatically supporting the participating companies offers, procurement and internal capabilities towards circularity, we are helping the whole value chain in decarbonizing, says Marika Määttä, Head of Combient Pure.
An understudied theme in sustainable building
Circular economy in the building industry is being studied and developed especially when it comes to main construction materials, like concrete and steel. However, there is a large number of technical products in buildings that also have a considerable emission impact both prior to and during their use.
KONE, for example, has systematically worked on resource efficiency and circularity, for a number of years, for example in focusing on reducing the materials, energy and other resources used in solutions and operations as well as recycling of materials when buildings are renovated.
-One of the best ways to create successful, scalable new processes and models, is through co-innovation and by working together with others. At KONE, we are working in many of these areas today, especially as repurposing and renovating by using recycled materials is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the construction industry, says Teemu Tiainen, Modernization Director for Central and North Europe at KONE.
At ASSA ABLOY, sustainability is integrated into everything they do, and a natural part of who they are and how they operate. To guide product development, they use the ASSA ABLOY ‘Sustainability Compass’ which assess a variety of environmental attributes for all new products.
- We participate in this program to emphasize development of circular business models and accelerate our sustainability journey together with our customers, says Zeljka Svensson, VP and Head of Global Innovation Management at ASSA ABLOY.
Swegon decided to join the program to really accelerate the circularity development in the company.
-It is the peer-to-peer learning and the practical approach of the program involving relevant actors of the value chain that will help us to further advance in our circularity journey, says Mirko Sauvan, Sustainability Manager at Swegon.
Combient Pure, Vasakronan and KONE first came together in 2022 to study the challenges and opportunities for developing more circular technical building products. The results showed that there are still some regulatory barriers for developing truly circular technical building products, but also that there is great opportunity in reducing the emissions from such products when embarking on the circularity journey.
Developing more circular products requires wide engagement from both manufacturing companies’ internal stakeholder groups, as well as multiple external stakeholders from construction companies and property owners to installation and demolition companies as well as wholesale dealers. This Circularity Development Program engages companies from along the value chain to support each other in the work.
Louna Laurila, Program manager, Combient Pure, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 400 628 521
Combient is a Nordic innovation network of 35 leading companies. Its goal is to support the business development of its associate companies. Combient Pure is the newest capability in the network, with a goal of creating low carbon and circular value chains. Pure develops impactful and sustainable multi-company solutions together with Combient associate companies, and companies operating in their value chains.
The ASSA ABLOY Group is the global leader in access solutions. The Group operates worldwide with 52,000 employees and sales of SEK 121 billion. The Group has leading positions in areas such as efficient door openings, trusted identities and entrance automation. ASSA ABLOY's innovations enable safe, secure and convenient access to physical and digital places. Every day, we help billions of people experience a more open world.
KONE’s mission is to improve the flow of urban life. As a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, KONE provides elevators, escalators and automatic building doors, as well as solutions for maintenance and modernization to add value to buildings throughout their life cycle. Through more effective People Flow®, KONE makes people's journeys safe, convenient and reliable, in taller, smarter buildings. In 2022, KONE had annual sales of EUR 10.9 billion, and at the end of the year over 60,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. in Finland.
Swegon is your partner for sustainable indoor-environment solutions that work exactly as desired, at the lowest possible lifecycle cost. We are a total system supplier. Our offer includes ventilation, heating, cooling and climate optimization systems, as well as connected services and expert technical support. Count on us to add value to your project from start to finish – and beyond. In everything we do, we are guided by a single purpose: to enable healthy, comfortable and safe indoor environments for people to be at their best, today and tomorrow.
Vasakronan is Sweden’s leading property company with a portfolio valued at around SEK 188 billion. The portfolio is focused on centrally located office and retail properties in the growth regions of Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg and Malmö. Our vision is to create future-proof cities for everyone where people and companies thrive. The company is owned in equal shares by the First, Second, Third and Fourth Swedish national pension funds.
The Circularity Development Program has received funding from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment's Low-Carbon Built Environment Programme, which is funded by the non-recurring EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).